It might be time for a colonoscopy if you are age 45 or older or have a family history of colon cancer. Colonoscopies are also helpful in diagnosing the cause of gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The experienced gastroenterologists at Riverdale Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases in Bronx, NY, can determine if it’s time for a colonoscopy.
The Colonoscopy Procedure
A colonoscopy is a non-surgical procedure for examining the lining of the colon. The procedure allows the gastroenterologist to view the interior of the colon and check for polyps and other abnormalities that could be an indication of colon cancer or a gastrointestinal disorder, such as ulcerative colitis.
The procedure is performed using a colonoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera on the end. The colonoscope is first inserted into the body through the anus and then gently guided through the colon. The camera at the end of the colonoscope transmits live video of the colon’s interior. If suspicious growths are detected, the colonoscope can be used to extract a sample for biopsy.
When a Colonoscopy is Needed
There are several reasons for having a colonoscopy performed. The highly skilled gastroenterologists at our practice in Bronx, NY, can determine if a colonoscopy is needed in your case. In general, all adults should undergo their first colonoscopy around age 45. Men and women with a family history of colon cancer should have their first one at age 40.
A colonoscopy might also be recommended for adults of any age who are experiencing certain gastrointestinal symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Persistent constipation
- Unexpected weight loss
- Recurring intestinal issues
These symptoms could be a sign of a gastrointestinal disorder, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. A colonoscopy helps the doctor make an accurate diagnosis so an appropriate treatment plan can be developed for you.
A colonoscopy is the most effective way to detect colon cancer or diagnose a gastrointestinal disorder. Schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable gastroenterologists to find out if it’s time for a colonoscopy by contacting Riverdale Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases in Bronx, NY. Call (718) 543-3636 for the Riverdale office.